Paternal Education Migrant and Its Effect on Left Behind Child Education
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Migration for education and economic empowerment is increasingly becoming an important global agenda in the 21st century. The number of migrating fathers for education is on the rise. Often these fathers leave behind their family because of economic issues. This study was designed to examine the effects of absence of fathers who migrate for educational purposes on left behind children‘s education in Kenya. Thirty respondents residing in Eastleigh were purposively selected and interviewed. The study established a direct relationship between fathers being away and child education and social and health development. The effects included less bonding with fathers, indiscipline, rebellion, addiction to social media, and father-child disconnects. These effects are however dependent on other externalities like communication and frequency of calls from fathers, type of school the child attended, frequency of visit by fathers, amount of remittances, age and skilled levels of the fathers. On remittances, It was observed that highly skilled workers remitted more money than middle level skilled migrants and this has direct influence on child‘s education. Children from educated/employed mothers performed well in schools and communicated frequently with their fathers and were likely to graduate from schools with less cases of indiscipline and absenteeism. Children whose fathers visited frequently had healthier relationships and educational commitment than those whose fathers have been away for long (>18months). Overall, the impact of migrant fathers on left behind children education and health are more pronounced in boys than girls. Since the implication of migrating fathers could be long term, there should be balance between education and family growth, cohesion and stability. In conclusion this study is interesting and can be useful add-on to existing information and knowledge and can stimulate future studies.
University of Nairobi
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